Africa’s largest mobile phone company, MTN, has hired a former United States Attorney-General, Eric Holder, to challenge the $3.9 billion fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for failing to disconnect unregistered users.
Recall that MTN was handed a $5.2 billion penalty in October, prompting weeks of lobbying that led to a 25 percent reduction to $3.9 billion, a fine imposed by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, for having 5 million unregistered SIMs in its network, which eventually led to another round of SIM cards registration in the country.
Also, a judge in Lagos last month gave MTN until March 18 to reach a settlement on the fine, which equates to more than twice MTN’s annual average capital spending over the past five years.
According to Reuters, MTN spokesman, Chris Maroleng, was not immediately available to comment on the latest development, however, the Financial Times on Wednesday, cited people familiar with the situation, saying that Holder pleaded with Nigerian officials last month on behalf of MTN.
The report said MTN was still not prepared to pay the fine and launched a court challenge in December, saying the NCC had no legal grounds to order the penalty.